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2014-12-05 · Hoegaarden (Non-)Clone

Spec

Beer Style:
Witbier
Batch Size:
10L
Brew Type:
All Grain
Boil Duration:
60mins
Mash Type:
Single Infusion, 60mins, 68.3°C
Mash Method:
BIAB
Chill Method:
No-Chill Cube
Original Gravity:
?
Final Gravity:
?
ABV:
?

Dates

2014-12-05:
Brewed
2015-01-10:
Pitched
2015-01-17:
Dry hopped
2015-01-31:
Pigged

After noticing my LHBS started carrying flaked wheat, I wanted to try another Hoegaarden clone recipe. Most of the Hoegaarden recipes online use flaked wheat. My previous clone used torrified wheat, and turned out great, but I was curious to try flaked wheat.

My recipe was based on several online clones. My initial intention was to try and cultivate yeast from Hoegaarden bottles in order to ferment this batch. I gave up the idea, however, after brewing. I was quite surprised after the mash to find that the wort was rather dark, much much darker than a Witbier should be. I was worried I was given the wrong malt instead of the Pilsen malt, or that the flaked wheat was somehow toasted. Not knowing what to expect, I decided to just ferment the batch with Sabrew WB-06 instead.

When it came time to start fermentation, I was surprised yet again to find that the OG of the wort was much much lower than expected, somewhere around 1.032 instead of the estimated 1.048. This made it the lowest gravity beer I have ever brewed. The wort did taste pretty good, with no signs of roastiness.

I pitched the yeast, and a day or two later returned to the LHBS to get a bit of Maltodextrine, so I can add it to the beer and increase the body and alcohol content a little bit. While there, I verified that the flaked wheat was indeed pretty dark, for whatever reason. Back home, I boiled 250g Maltodextrine with 80g table sugar in a little bit of water, and added it to the fermenting beer.

A week or so after fermentation started, I added 10g of Cascade to dry hop the beer.

I transferred the beer to the Party Pig after 3 weeks of fermentation. I made about one cup of Chamomile tea from two bags, and added to the beer. Many Witbier recipes use the peels of bitter oranges (Curacao) for flavor. As bitter oranges are hard to find, and with the advice of the book "Radical Brewing" by Randy Mosher, I used a 15% ABV Tripel Sec liquor to get a similar effect. Since these liquors also contain sugar, I had to calculate the amount of sugar in the liquor and take it into consideration as a priming sugar for the beer. After measuring the gravity of the Tripel Sec and making some calculations, I wound up using 210g of the liquor, which amounts to about 50 grams of sugar, which should be enough to completely carbonate the beer. Therefore, I did not add the usual corn sugar.

It took me more than a month to finally taste the beer. It had an amber color, probably influenced by the Tripel Sec. It turned out pretty good, not dry but could use a little more body. I could not detect the Chamomile, but the Tripel Sec lent the beer some acidity and bitterness that really complemented it. It carbonated quite nicely, and had a large creamy head with sufficient retention. I took it with me to my friends and they really liked it. At least two of them thought it reminded them of Weihenstephaner. It definitely did not resemble Hoegaarden though.

I look at this beer as a prime example of how a homebrew can be saved/improved even after fermentation has started.

Recipe

Stage Ingredient Duration Quantity
Mash Pilsen Malt 1300g
Flaked Wheat 1300g
Boil Cascade (7%) 60mins (40mins)* 8g
Cascade (7%) 5mins (dry hop)* 10g
Maltodextrine** - 250g
Table Sugar** - 80g
Fermentation Fermentis Safbrew WB-06 1ea
Finish Curacao Tripel Sec 210g
Chamomile tea 2 bags

* Bittering hop additions adjusted 20 minutes down to account for greater hop utilization due to the no-chill method. Second addition replaced with a dry hop.

** Maltodextrine and table sugar were boiled and added to the beer two days after fermentation has begun

Pictures

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